The New England Patriots coaching staff is in a state of flux. In a dramatic last-minute twist, Josh McDaniels has spurned the Indianapolis Colts to remain with the Patriots, according to Adam Schefter. McDaniels will continue to serve as offensive coordinator under head coach Bill Belichick, passing up an opportunity to take the reigns in Indy with a battered Andrew Luck at quarterback. Per Schefter, Patriots Owner Robert Kraft is the catalyst behind McDaniels’ return, “sweetening his contract” in the last 48 hours. According to Schefter, Kraft also had other motivations with bringing McDaniels back.
The Colts confirmed the news by cancelling McDaniels’ introductory press conference scheduled for Feb. 7 in addition to releasing statement.
“After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts’ new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team,” the Colts said in a statement. “Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field.”
Meanwhile the defensive coordinator role is changing, with Matt Patricia taking over in Detroit as head coach of the Detroit Lions. Per Bruce Feldman, Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will stay in Columbus and not take over the same role with the Patriots, despite a reports saying he might return to the NFL.
Here’s a complete overview of what the Patriots 2018 coaching staff could look like:
Holdovers From 2017
Surprisingly enough, add Josh McDaniels name to that list. The Patriots thought they were going to need a new offensive coordinator in 2018, but thanks to an eleventh hour offer from owner Robert Kraft, McDaniels will remain in the fold. Also staying in New England next season will be special teams coach Joe Judge, according to NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo.
It’s a pretty safe bet both of Bill Belichick’s two sons will on the Patriots staff against in 2018. Steve Belichick is Bill’s oldest son. The former college lacrosse player has been the safeties coach in New England for the last two years. Brian Belichick, Bill’s youngest son, is a coaching assistant with the team. Bill Belichick recently told ProFootballTalk.com that “Steve’s done a great job” and Brian is “earning his keep”.
Greg Schiano is the biggest name rumored to be heading to New England. According to Bruce Feldman, Schiano has not yet decided whether or not he will join Bill Belichick’s coaching staff, which implies he has already been offered a role. Feldman also reports Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores could also be in line to get the open defensive coordinator job. Greg Tanguay reports Schiano will officially interview for the Patrios defensive coordinator opening after the Super Bowl. However on Feb. 7, another report from Feldman said Schiano has decided to stay in Columbus as the Buckeyes defensive coordinator under head coach Urban Meyer.
Schiano does have NFL experience, coaching the Tampa Bay Bucs for two seasons in 2012-13 and compiling an 11-21 record. He also was the head coach at Rutgers University for 11 seasons and helped lead the Scarlet Knights to the program’s first ever bowl win in 2006. If he heads to New England, Schiano will be reunited with three of his former players. Safeties Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon and wide receiver Kenny Britt all played for Rutgers under Schiano. According to Patriots insider Tom E. Curran, Schiano is also a potential candidate to be Bill Belichick’s successor.
Who Might Leave
Two weeks prior to the Super Bowl, Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores was rumored to be in the mix for the Arizona Cardinals head coaching vacancy, per Adam Schefter. However on Jan. 22, the Cardinals officially announced another defensive guru, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as the team’s next head coach. Flores is still a rising star and could be plucked by another team.
Meanwhile Patriots assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski was supposed to join Josh McDaniels’ staff in Indianapolis, per Adam Schefter. However that move is now uncertain with McDaniels returning to New England.